Lisbon, April 14th (Lusa) – The President of Infarmed the National Authority for Medicament and Health Products, advised today that social masks, which have started to be produced by the national textile industry according to defined specifications, can be made of cotton or polyester and that many will be reusable.
Rui Ivo spoke at the daily press conference about the Covid-19 pandemic, held at the Ministry of Health, about a standard for the industry to start making non-surgical masks for general use of the population in confined spaces, such as supermarkets, pharmacies or public transport.
“Based on these specifications, we are in a position to say that the masks produced and that will be sold will have the protection conditions required. We are talking about a third type of protective equipment that, with support from the national industry, we can use easily and that when these are sold, written instructions for use will be provided.” said Rui Ivo.
Among the materials authorised by the standard are cotton, polyester or a combination of the two, and many of the masks can be reused after washing.
The Health Minister said, at the press conference on Monday, that the use of non-surgical or social masks will be widespread involving those operating in confined spaces such as pharmacies, but only when the country returns to normality and not in the current state of emergency and confinement.
He stated that when life is able to be more ‘normal’ i.e. outside of a state of emergency, in situations which call for the confinement and restriction during essential activities, and in which people are in enclosed spaces, the use of the such social masks should be considered.
A guideline by the Directorate-General for Health refers to “the use of masks by all people who remain in indoors with multiple people, as a measure of additional protection alongside social distancing, hand hygiene and refraining from coughing or sneezing”.
Asked when the widespread use of community masks by the general population in confined spaces will be recommended, the Secretary of State for Health, Lacerda Sales, referred to the reassessment of the state of emergency, which will be done on Wednesday.
“Wednesday will be the reassessment of the state of emergency. Therefore, it is not yet the right time for us to comment on a set of measures that may or may not be re-enforced. It is up to the Ministry of Health, to make responsible and controlled decisions, making no concessions in terms of citizens’ health and safety ”, he said.